Cineplex Entertainment launches Sensory Friendly Screenings for customers with autism

Cineplex Entertainment Canada has developed a new movie screening program specifically designed to accommodate customers who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Moviegoers with ASD and their families will now be able to take advantage of what Cineplex refers to as its Sensory Friendly Screenings in at least a dozen major cities throughout Canada including Edmonton, London, Waterloo, Halifax and Saskatoon.

According to company representatives, the films shown will thus be adapted to allow those with the disorder who have specific sensitivities to sound and environmental stimulation to fully enjoy their movie watching experience. As a result, there will be increased lighting, lowered audio, smaller audiences and only 2D projections will be shown.

Additionally, viewers will have the opportunity to retreat to what reps refer to as “calm zones” should they need time or space away from screenings at any given time. The program has already received a stamp of approval from Autism Speaks Canada with Jill Farber, the organization’s executive director, acknowledging the need for entertainment companies to accommodate those who wish to attend movies in theatres but face various sensory-related challenges when doing so.

Cineplex Entertainment agrees and will thus continue conducting limited testing of the program in hopes of expanding it in the near future.

Source: Bruce DeMara on The Star.com: Cineplex offers movies to families dealing with autism
CBC News Nova Scotia: Cineplex launching special screenings for people with autism